Revisiting: Who Else Is On The 2003 Steroid List

matt eliasContributor IJuly 30, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 22:  Designated hitter David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after hitting a foul ball against the Texas Rangers on July 22, 2009 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

When asked to write an article on the most likely guy in the major leagues to be on the 103 person list of people who failed a 2003 steroid test, one name popped into my head. I know this is going to sound like a bitter Yankee fan, and I know it's against the rules to have a Red Sox player named or tested for steroids, but this is my guy: David Ortiz.

Ortiz was basically a failure in baseball. Following a couple big homerun years in the minors where he cranked out 30+ homeruns, Ortiz floundered in Minnesota where he hit around 50 homeruns over his career. He was even released by the Twins following the 2002 season. He was basically done in baseball.

This is the article that I wrote back on 2/11/2009. It was following the A-rod revelations. I was asked to write who I believe is the most likely to be on the steroid list. My answer was David Ortiz. Today's NYTimes article and Ortiz's poor play have confirmed this.


But then the 2003 season has Ortiz as a member of the Red Sox and his career takes off. He is averaging almost 40 homeruns a year since joining the Red Sox, who play in a pitcher's park (especially to right field.) So since 2003, Mr. Ortiz has turned himself from a bench player who was released to a guy who is a perennial All Star and a top 5 MVP candidate yearly.... seems suspect.

Let's compare him to Jason Giambi, a marginal player who became an MVP using steroids and then became a shell of himself. Both players had their rise to being one of the most feared hitters in the game. Both have had major health issues which are usually associated with PED's. Giambi had a tumor on his pituitary gland and Ortiz has had heart problems. Both have seen their body breakdown- Giambi had multiple knee problems and foot problems while Ortiz also has had knee problems and a now a problematic wrist.

I know MLB doesn't want the Red Sox included in the steroid talk, that's why an owner of the Sox did the Mitchell Report. But if David Ortiz isn't on the list, it will be more shocking than seeing David Eckstein on it.